National News

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

4 firefighters burned attempting rescue from Florida house fire

VIDEO: Four firefighters suffered burns Tuesday while trying to rescue someone they thought was inside a burning home in the New Town neighborhood of Northwest Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was called just after 1 p.m. and saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the house on Acorn Street near West 2nd Street. Neighbors said someone was trapped inside, so four firefighters forced their way inside and encountered high heat and flames. JFRD Chief Keith Powers said the firefighters sustained first- and second-degree burns, but they were in good condition and should be treated and released from UF Health Jacksonville within hours. Powers credited the high-quality bunker gear the city issues with preventing more serious injuries to the firefighters. “It’s the best gear in the business, and if it wasn’t for that gear, these burns would have been a lot more significant,” Powers said.
WJXT-TV News 4 Jacksonville

Texas city unveils firefighter-themed playground honoring first responders, namesake of park

The city held a socially-distanced ceremony showcasing Carrollton’s newly renovated Harold K. Bessire Park Playground (1117 Dentonshire Drive) on Nov. 21. The City Council approved funding in February for renovations, including a synthetic turf surface as well as new playground equipment with a firefighter theme, honoring Carrollton’s first responders and the namesake of the park, former Carrollton Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Harold K. Bessire. “Chief Bessire was in command during a time of growth for the city,” Carrollton Fire Chief Gregg Salmi said. “The department went from one station to six under his leadership, and the City became the first suburb to train and staff paramedics on ambulances offering advanced levels of patient care. His command presence and professionalism elicited feelings of confidence, support, and great respect from those who served under him. I am proud to have served with him.”
Carrolton Leader

Los Angeles Firefighter Severely Injured While Fighting Downtown Blaze Talks About His Miraculous Recovery

On May 16, 2020, eleven firefighters were seriously injured during one of the most intense and dangerous fires in the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department. One of those firefighters was Fire Capt. Víctor Aguirre, who suffered serious burns. He spoke with our sister station Telemundo 52 about his miraculous recovery and the voracious fire that almost took his life away. Aguirre recalls giving the order to leave the roof and calling out "Mayday," the emergency signal, during the May 16 fire in downtown LA. "I will never forget that day, I have it engraved in my mind and in my body," said Capt. Aguirre. When Aguirre and his team tried to enter the building through the roof to attack the fire, he said he had a strange feeling. “In my heart, in my mind, I felt uneasy,” said the Los Angeles Fire Department captain. Minutes later when the fire was too intense to bear, Aguirre gave the order to retreat, and I heard multiple explosions and the roar of the fire.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

Mechanical CPR device helps first responders in Oregon stay safe during pandemic

At a fire house in King City Tuesday, crews gave KGW an up-close look at one of their newest tools, the Lucas Mechanical CPR Device. "It's highly efficient," said Capt. Tim Nokes of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R). "It's highly effective." Capt. Nokes says the device is one of three in service in the TVF&R district. He says it could not have come at a more ideal time. "I've been doing this job for over 20 years," he said. "I feel a sense of stress this past nine or 10 months more than I've ever felt in my career." COVID-19 is the reason why. First responders could contract the coronavirus from any patient, but especially those in cardiac arrest. "Chest compressions are a huge generator of that aerosolizing product so when you're doing chest compressions physically on someone's chest they are obviously exhaling," said Capt. Nokes. "There's a high potential for us coming in contact with aerosolized particles of COVID-19."
KGW-TV NBC 8 Portland

South Carolina first responders shining lights on patients at the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital

VIDEO: Charleston first responders are joining forces to ‘wave goodnight’ to the children and healthcare heroes at Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Police, fire and EMS park their vehicles outside the children’s hospital, and when the clock strikes 7:30 p.m., they turn their lights on for five minutes, so that the patients inside can see them shine and know their community is here to say goodnight. It’s a simple gesture, but with a big impact. With these children facing their own battles every single day, the hospital can be a scary place to live; especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. “We wanna brighten their night, put a smile on their faces before they go to bed. All the Lowcountry’s first responders; fire, EMS, police, it’s a collaborative effort,” said Sgt. Sean Engles with the Charleston Police Department. Engles says the light display is only visual so they make as little noise as possible at bedtime.
WCBD-TV NBC/CW+ 2 Charleston

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

IAFF calls on nation’s governors to give firefighters priority access to COVID-19 vaccine

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) penned a letter to the nation’s governors requesting firefighters and emergency medical personnel on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 be among those given priority access to a vaccine once it is available. According to the IAFF, over 30,000 firefighters have been exposed to COVID-19 in the line of duty. At least 19 have died. The IAFF maintains that “adequately vaccinating firefighters and emergency medical responders will… allow such personnel to continue serving their communities during this medical crisis,” as “the virus not only places the lives and health of responders at risk, it also poses a risk to the larger community as well.” Failing to include firefighters and emergency medical personnel in the group that receives priority vaccines would “[impose] significant costs on local governments as they backfill positions or operate understaffed, increasing response times and negatively impacting public safety.”
WCBD-TV NBC/CW+ 2 Charleston

San Francisco Fire Dept. Airport Division Takes Delivery of Three Oshkosh Striker 8x8 ARFF Vehicles

PHOTO: Oshkosh Airport Products, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation Company, announced on Nov. 20 that the company delivered three Striker 8x8 ARFF vehicles to the San Francisco International Airport in California. The department’s new Striker 8x8 vehicles were delivered in late September and early October. “San Francisco Fire Department’s Airport Division is trained to the highest standards, and we’re proud to provide these remarkable first responders with apparatus that allows them to perform at an exceptional level,” said Erik Lampe, vice president and general manager of Oshkosh Airport Products. “Our team is honored to work in collaboration with the Airport Division, and we remain dedicated to providing exemplary service and partnership to support their needs into the future.”
Aviation Pros

New model projects COVID-19 cases in the US will nearly double over the next two months

COVID-19 is running unabated across almost every American community, and one model projects it will take the country just under two months to reach a staggering 20 million cases. The US could nearly double its current numbers -- about 12.4 million reported infections -- by January 20, according to the Washington University in St. Louis forecasting model. The prediction comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide are exploding, with more than 3.1 million infections reported in the US since the start of November -- the most reported in a single month ever. Hospitalizations are at harrowing highs, with more than 85,800 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the US, another record set for the 14th day in a row, according to the COVID Tracking Project. In California, hospitalizations climbed by 77% over the past 2 weeks, while ICU admissions were up 55%.
CNN Health

Shooting of firefighter highlights rising danger for first responders, DC fire chief says

Violence against first responders has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, according to D.C.’s acting chief of DC Fire & EMS (FEMS), John Donnelly, who said he’s still trying to come to grips with an incident Sunday where a firefighter/EMT was injured in a shooting. The shooting came just as D.C. FEMS is preparing to issue a new directive making it clear that firefighters/EMTs should not go into certain situations without police to secure the scene first. “We go out and help people, and we don't expect to be shot at," Chief Donnelly said Monday. "We expect to at least be welcome to help people. When you're shot at, that changes the dynamics a little bit. But our people are going to continue to go help people. They are service-oriented, that's what they do." Sunday’s shooting happened as DC FEMS and police were tending to a shooting victim at a 7-Eleven on South Capitol Street and MLK Boulevard SE. While on the scene, gunfire broke out again.
WUSA-TV CBS 9 Washington DC

Wisconsin: Free gun locks now available at Milwaukee fire stations

It has been a tragic year for gun violence in Milwaukee County. Local leaders are looking for answers. On Monday, Nov. 23, they announced one plan: free gun locks. Fire Chief Aaron Lipski demonstrated one of the gun locks that his firefighters will hand out free to anyone at Milwaukee fire stations, no questions asked. The cable, when properly used, prevents the gun from firing. This is a partnership between the fire department, the city Office of Violence Prevention, and the County Division of Behavioral Health. The goal is to prevent accidental injuries or deaths in the home to stop the use of guns for suicides. "For youths, the risk of dying by suicide is four to ten times higher in homes with guns," Milwaukee Co. Division of Behavioral Health Nzinga Khalid said. "At BHD we are committed to prevention. By distributing gun locks, we hope to prevent these tragedies." Not only will the gun locks be available at firehouses, but fire crews can pass them out at emergency scenes as well.
WDJT-TV CBS 58 Milwaukee

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